Woke up at about four o’clock this morning to a massive downpour, lots of thunder and lighting and cats walking across my face, not technically part of what one would normally consider a downpour but it was happening, so I note it. Okay, just one cat. The other cat was taking up all the space at the foot of the bed where my legs would normally go, so that I had to dangle my legs over the edge of the bed. I still don’t know why I unconsciously make room for the cat like that. It’s my damned bed.

Anyway, water was falling out of the sky by the truckload this morning. Why doesn’t anybody say that ever? Why buckets? Truckloads are way more impressive. They’re bigger, for a start, and they’re mechanized. Buckets are smaller and they’re a lot of work to carry around. Who likes buckets more than trucks? And I see trucks carrying water all the time. It’s not like they’re rare. From now on, I’m not saying rain came down in buckets. It comes down by the truckload. Who’s with me?


It rained again yesterday evening, not regular rain but scary rain, the kind that comes down sideways in thick sheets and made me think that we might be on the front page of a few newspapers in the morning. Are there still newspapers outside of Wisconsin?

I went looking for our emergency flashlight even though I wanted to believe we wouldn’t need it. We didn’t. About three-quarters of an inch of water came raging out of the skies in about twenty minutes, then turned into normal rain that lasted maybe an hour, and then it was over. So instead of hiding in the basement, we played boggle. Much more enjoyable.


It rained! For the first time since, I think, May, it rained! Not much, and not for very long, and all traces of it were dried up and gone about an hour later, but for a while it was pretty magical, so much so that My Darling B went out on the patio and stood in the rain with her arms outstretched, a great, big smile on her face, and let it drench her. Just think! Water falling from the skies!

[ADDED: It’s been raining all morning, too, but somehow My Darling B has resisted the urge to get out of bed and dance through it.]


I am never again going to feel guilty about driving to work when the forecast calls for rain.

I don’t ride my bike to work a lot. Okay, hardly ever. Almost never, really. So close to never as to make no difference. I mean to, and every spring as soon as the weather breaks I hop on my bike and ride to work at least two or three times a week for maybe, oh, two weeks, just until the novelty wears off. But after being cooped up all winter, those two weeks are sheer bliss.

And then I become monumentally lazy. Literally. When the monument to lazy is built, and it’ll be built when we’re damn good and ready, so don’t rush us, my lazy butt will feature prominently, you can be assured of that. I start out biking to work with the best of intentions: Oh, this’ll be so good for me and It’s really much better for everyone if I don’t clog up the streets and burn all that gas driving to work but really, driving is so much easier that I can’t help but feel a lot better about driving to work, until I realize I’m sitting on my butt from the time I get out of bed in the morning until the time I go to bed at night, not getting any exercise at all.

And just about the time I realize that, the sky bursts into flame. It happens about mid-July. You know those film clips showing giant clouds of exploding gas arching above the surface of the sun? Sometimes it feels like those huge burning gas clouds reach us here on the ground in the summer. When that happens, the only place to be is inside with the air conditioning going full blast. That usually lasts until the end of August. Nobody goes outside until then except mad dogs and joggers.

So by the last week in August or first week in September I’m feeling pretty cooped up again and that’s about the time I get on my bike and start riding to work for about another week. Unless the forecast calls for rain. When there’s about a forty percent chance of rain or better, I usually chicken out and drive to work. I’m a weenie when it comes to rain.

But not, for some reason, this morning. When I checked the National Weather Service’s web site as I was drinking my morning cuppa, they were calling for a sixty percent chance of rain and I thought, Well, sixty percent’s not really all that bad. I can’t figure out now why I thought that. Maybe I was temporarily insane. Whatever the reason, I packed up my bags, climbed on my bike and rode to work with no problem. I was perfectly dry when I got there. And it didn’t rain all day while I was at work. No. It waited until four thirty on the dot to start raining, and it rained on me all the way home.

Truthfully, it wasn’t all that bad, a very light, if steady, rain. I hardly got wet. But I am, as I said, a weenie about rain and will probably chicken out when there’s any chance at all from now on. Any sympathy for me on this one? Any at all? No? Oh, well.


According to the web site of the National Weather Service, the probability of rain this morning is a mere twenty percent. Having just come back from my morning walk a bit more damp than I was when I left the house, I can assure you that the odds are a tad greater. Satellites, focused on the cloud cover, are whirling through space; Doppler radar is measuring changes in wind velocity; trained meteorologists are analyzing the data; and all this to produce a forecast that isn’t as accurate as stepping outside to take a walk down the road.

B’s gripe with the NWS is when they set the probability of rain at one-hundred percent. The first time she saw that she nearly blew a gasket. “One-hundred percent? So there is no chance that it’s not going to rain today? They’re guaranteeing rain?” And she hasn’t become any less empathic about it over time. We’re a little excitable when it comes to the weather as predicted by the National Weather Service.


Earlier this week, the weather forecast called for rain, rain and more rain starting on Wednesday night and continuing through the weekend. I am pleased to tell you that they were wrong, wrong and are still wrong. More to the point, nobody is more pleased than My Darling B, who takes vacation time from work to expand this from a standard, regulation two-day weekend into a giant, economy-sized four-day weekend so she can get her garden planted, and for the past couple years that she’s tried this tactic, she’s almost always been stymied by rain. This year, though, she’s had almost entirely sunny days, except for yesterday when the tiniest bit of rain came spitting down now and again. She didn’t care, though. She kept working through it. She’s determined to get as much planting done as she possibly can, and to that end she was out there again this morning at eight o’clock, the time when she is normally sitting on the sofa with me, a cup of coffee in one hand and an ear on the radio as we listen to the weekly broadcast of Says You.

Rain. Not Rain.

image of sleepy cat

Sleep was not coming easily to me last night. A passing squall woke me up with its lightning and thunder. Do you usually hear people say “lightning and thunder” or “thunder and lightning?” I think “lightning” should come first, because that’s what you see and what you get when a storm comes along. But the way I hear people say it, “thunder” comes first. Doesn’t that seem odd when you think about it? Thunder follows lightning as tomato follows bacon & lettuce. (Don’t even think of telling me you would desecrate the perfection of a BLT by leaving out the tomato. I couldn’t be responsible for my actions if you did.)

After the squall passed and the thunder let up, a gentle rain began to fall. I thought, This’ll be sweet, falling asleep to the sound of the rain on the roof. But no. It was a gentle rain for about ten, maybe twenty minutes until the wind kicked up. And that was not entirely a bad thing after a day of scorching temperatures and a sticky-hot night. The cool breeze felt good, but because the windows were as wide open as we could get them each gust slapped the window blinds against the wall. I walked around closing the windows to a small gap and adjusting the blinds, but by then it was too late to undo the damage. I was wide awake.

So I laid in bed wide-awake for about an hour listening to the wind buffet the trees outside the bedroom until I just couldn’t stand it any longer and finally rolled out of bed at about four-thirty to stumble through the darkness to the kitchen to start a pot of coffee and write drivel. Good morning. And how are you?

You may have experienced a brief outage if you tried to visit this blog last night, the result of what I might call a server migration if I felt like trying to bullshit you. If I weren’t, I would tell you that the server itself was traveling cross-country in the trunk of my brother’s car. We spare no expense to bring you this drivel every day and I noticed Big Pete had the server up and running again when I started poking around on the internet at oh-dark-thirty this morning. Thanks, Pete! rules!